Celtic captain Scott Brown has revealed the reason he was surprised when Virgil van Dijk left the club for the Premier League.
Today he is widely considered as the best defender on the planet but back in his Celtic days, Virgil van Dijk was just an underappreciated Dutch prospect trying to make a name for himself at Parkhead. And make a name for himself he did!
The Netherlands captain was not highly rated while coming up through the ranks at Willem II and only managed four appearances for the Dutch national side at youth level. He was even let go of by Willem II after they felt that he was not good enough to break into their first team. As a result, van Dijk moved to unfancied Groningen and it is there that he got his first taste of senior football.
His performances where impressive enough to earn him a move to Celtic Park and it is here that top European clubs first started to take notice of the man who would one day go on to challenge the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or. After two very successful seasons at Celtic Park, van Dijk would move to the riches and bright lights of the Premier League and the rest as they say is history!
And recently Scott Brown revealed that he was surprised that only Southampton came for the Dutchman when he left Celtic.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the Celtic captain said:
“Virgil is a Rolls-Royce. He cruised it in Scotland and he’s cruising it in the Premier League. He has shown now he is the best defender in the world for that reason.
“What we’re seeing from him now is no surprise at all. The only surprise was that when he left Celtic only Southampton came in for him.”
Well, if the world had known what Broony knew then every club official down south would have lined up outside of Celtic Park for van Dijk. Unfortunately that was not the case or The Hoops would have earned a lot more than the £13 million Southampton paid for him.